Friday, November 8, 2013

Coffee and Provocation

Bespoke Falconry: 
Neiman Marcus is now selling bespoke falconry furniture as a Christmas gift. "Gazing upon your portable case and matching custom trunk, you marvel at the 20-karat gold-plated perch, hand-carved stands, leather perch scale, and hand-sewn glove, anklet, and exotic-skin hoods by Ken Hooke, the world's preeminent falconry hood maker. The setup comes with with matching Chatwin chairs, foldout table by Richard Wrightman, "the foremost designer of bespoke campaign" and "a handmade backgammon board from Alexandra Llewellyn." You get to pour yourself a drink from lead crystal decanters, and cut your cigars with a "matching cigar cutter by David Linley". All yours for $150,000.

The Most Crowded Spot in America:
Hart Island, just off from New York City, has been a Civil War prison camp, a mental asylum, a workhouse for the poor, and even a missile base, but it's current function is as potter's field, where around 900,000 people are buried.  The bodies are laid in mass graves by inmates from nearby Riker's Island. One third of the dead are infants, some are homeless, and others are unclaimed bodies from the city morgue

The Cut and Run Cowards at Guns & Ammo Magazine:
Apparently Guns & Ammo magazine is run by cut and run cowards who are so terrified of extremist gun-lunatics that they even give a nod to safety and common sense.
The Nature of Delayed Gratification:
Those who can delay gratification do better in life, and those who watch nature are more likely to delay gratification.

Those Who Live in Glass Houses:
How about a glass cabin on a budget for $500?  Very cool.

America Is Much Healthier Than You Know:
A few years back, Robert Ohsfeldt of Texas A&M and John Schneider of the University of Iowa asked the obvious question: what happens if you remove deaths from fatal injuries from the life expectancy tables? Among the 29 members of the OECD, the U.S. vaults from 19th place to first. Japan, on the same adjustment, drops from first to ninth.  Bottom line:  we are healthy as hell, but we are not risk averse.  We engage in stupid-risky behaviors.  In short, we are Americans, not Japanese.

American is Much Less Wealthy Than You Know:40 percent of all American workers (39.6 percent to be precise) make less than $20,000 a year.  According to data released this week, 49.7 million Americans are living in poverty.  The wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

Butt Smellers:
Clever canines catch colon cancer cues contained in crap.

Deeply Flawed Social Security "Study":
A new study from the Urban Institute concludes that Social Security redistributes money from minorities to wealthier whites. Of course, the study is deeply flawed, as it looks at Social Security as a snapshot, and ignores a cohort analysis (the correct analysis), which would show the exact opposite.

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